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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Fine Names for Guinea Pigs

(To E. S. Martin)

Oyster Bay, Nov. 22, 1900.

Mrs. Roosevelt and I were more touched than I can well say at your sending us your book with its characteristic insertion and above all with the little extract from your boy’s note about Ted. In what Form is your boy? As you have laid yourself open, I shall tell you that Ted sings in the choir and is captain of his dormitory football team. He was awfully homesick at first, but now he has won his place in his own little world and he is all right. In his last letter to his mother in response to a question about his clothes he answered that they were in good condition, excepting “that one pair of pants was split up the middle and one jacket had lost a sleeve in a scuffle, and in another pair of pants he had sat down in a jam pie at a cellar spread.” We have both missed him greatly in spite of the fact that we have five remaining. Did I ever tell you about my second small boy’s names for his Guinea pigs? They included Bishop Doane; Dr. Johnson, my Dutch Reformed pastor; Father G. Grady, the local priest with whom the children had scraped a speaking acquaintance; Fighting Bob Evans, and Admiral Dewey. Some of my Republican supporters in West Virginia have just sent me a small bear which the children of their own accord christened Jonathan Edwards, partly out of compliment to their mother’s ancestor, and partly because they thought they detected Calvinistic traits in the bear’s character.